Two youths attack Austrian Jewish teen wearing Star of David ring

May 11, 2020

The victim was treated in a local hospital for cuts and bruises to his face. Police are searching for the assailants.

Two teenagers attacked a 16-year-old Jewish boy in the Austrian city of Gratz before he was able to get away.
The victim was treated in a local hospital for cuts and bruises to his face. Police are searching for the assailants.
According to a report from the Gratz Jewish community, the victim was wearing a ring decorated with a Star of David when he was accosted March 4 on the street near a high school by the two teens, who demanded to know if he was Jewish. When he answered that he was, the boys told him to “piss off.” Then one of the boys slapped and punched him in the face while calling him a “shit Jew.”
In a statement Elie Rosen, head of the Jewish community in Gratz, said local schools need help in addressing antisemitism and should not only be teaching about the Holocaust but about the history of the Middle East conflict.
“The fact is, the word ‘Jew’ is used as an insult in schoolyards,” the statement read in part. “We have to help schools prepare to take on this problem.”
“Unfortunately, Gratz is not an exceptional case,” he added. “This incident is part of a development in Europe.”
Rosen accused society in general and the political leadership of failing to take such incidents seriously.
According to statistics on antisemitism in Europe compiled by the European Action and Protection League, antisemitic incidents in Austria more than doubled in 2018 to 547 from 255 in 2014. Data for several countries was presented at the European Jewish Association annual conference in Paris last month.
With more than 150 members, the Jewish community of Gratz is the second largest in Austria. According to the European Jewish Congress, about 15,000 Jews live in Austria today, most of them in Vienna.
The article was published in the JPost

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Belgian university maintains collaboration with Israeli institutions despite protests demanding to cut ties

About twenty demonstrators protested Thursday in front of the rector’s office at  Leuven University      (KUL) in Belgium on Thursday to demand that the university immediately end its collaboration with Israeli institutions. But the university said it has decided to maintain current collaboration with its Israeli partners, daily La Libre reported. 

Participants at the protest action waved Palestinian flags and wore black and white scarves. They chanted slogans such as “Shame on KUL, break up with Israel”, “Free Palestine” and “Stop the genocide”.

Several actions have already taken place in recent months to denounce the links between Israeli universities and KU Leuven. “We have the impression that the University of Leuven will not put an end to these collaborations,” a protester was quoted as saying.  “That’s why we’re keeping up the pressure: links with institutions linked to the arms industry and the Israeli security apparatus are extremely problematic,” he added.

The rector of KU Leuven, Luc Sels, will receive some of the protesters to discuss the issue next Tuesday but the university said that it has decided to maintain its current research projects with various Israeli universities, following a decision taken on by the relevant ethics committee.

The university has “thoroughly evaluated” the current collaborations, particularly on the basis of human rights. “The general position is one of restraint”, the Rector wrote on his blog.

The leuven university has no structural links with Israeli universities, but does have project-based collaborations. These involve some fifteen projects, mostly in larger consortia funded by the European Horizon research program.

“The content of each project was thoroughly examined: it was checked whether there was any risk of the content being misused or used for military purposes,” Luc Sels said.

“The projects were also assessed to determine whether they presented a risk of human rights violations and whether the partners were not involved in human rights violations,’’ he added.

He continued: ‘’On the basis of this screening, it was decided to continue with the current projects. “We are opting for a balanced, fine-tuned approach. New collaborations with Israeli partners must first be submitted to the ethics committee for assessment. The committee not only applies human rights criteria but will also assess with the necessary rigor whether the research has possible military applications.’’

At another Belgian university in Ghent, an association titled ‘’Students4Palestine’’ also called on the Board of Governors and Rector to cut all collaborations with Israeli institutions which they accused of being ”complicit in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.’’ They are threatening to occupy the University if their demand is not met.

Last November, Ghent University issued a clear statement saying that it always decides to cooperate with partners, universities or companies and not with countries as such.’’ ‘’Within the framework of our human rights policy, it is therefore actual our potential partners we assess and not the country in which they are located,’’ the statement said.

Belgian university maintains collaboration with Israeli institutions despite protests demanding to cut ties

Press Release: European Jewish Association head calls on European Parliament president to suspend chair for relations with palestine for ‘blatant’ antisemitism.

MEP Manu Pineda, chair for relations with Palestine, shares Instagram post of Hitler poster with never again written on it being torn to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving Nazi salute under the headline ‘again’, a clear breach of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, of which the EU Institutions are a signatory.


(Brussels 3 January 2024) The Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin today wrote to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola calling for, at a minimum, the suspension from the European Parliament of the Chair for relations with Palestine, Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.


Mr Pineda shared an Instagram story video showing a poster of Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi salute under a banner that reads ‘never again’. A hooded man then rips off part the poster to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu whose face and Israeli flag replace Hitler’s and the swastika, and leaving the word ‘again’ visible.


In his letter to President Metsola calling for the suspension from the House, Rabbi Margolin wrote,

Regretfully, only 3 days into this new year, I must write to you concerning a blatant act of antisemitism committed by a Member of your house. I understand that in a war, feelings can run high. But this can never be an excuse to allow carte blanche to any hate speech, antisemitism included.

“In November 2022, I had the privilege of handing over our King David Award to you in Krakow, the next day we toured Auschwitz together. You are a leader who understands what is at stake, and the dark path that antisemitism can lead us to. I remember your inspiring words well. You said we should honour the legacy of the victims of the Shoah “by never forgetting, by never being indifferent, and by always, always speaking up”.

“Madame President, it is time to speak up. People look up to their public representatives, Mr Pineda included. The public often follow their lead.

“There is no doubt, none, that this video that he chose to share is antisemitic and breaches the IHRA definition of which the EU is a signatory. No words can be parsed here. The question is what will be done?

“In such a febrile time, with rates of antisemitism in Europe at levels unseen since WW2, doing nothing is not an option and only emboldens others to do the same.

“Mr Pineda has shown, in public, his antisemitism. You must show him that antisemitism is not welcome in the European Parliament. A suspension from the house would be the minimum we would expect.” Ends.


Guardare al futuro, alla lotta all’antisemitismo, senza dimenticare la storia, specialmente la Shoah e i suoi massacri. La memoria può dunque diventare un punto di partenza per riflettere anche sul futuro e sul presente dell’ebraismo europeo. Queste le premesse con la quale è stato aperto il simposio, organizzato dall’European Jewish Association, dai partner del Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center e della Federazione delle Comunità Ebraiche dell’Ucraina, in occasione della Giornata della Memoria dedicata al massacro di Babyn Yar avvenuto a Kiev.

Tra il 29 e il 30 settembre del 1941, un reparto speciale Einsatzgruppe tedesco, assistito da due battaglioni del reggimento di polizia sud e polizia ausiliaria Ucraina, senza alcuna resistenza da parte della popolazione locale, uccisero all’interno del burrone Babi Yar, situato nel nord-ovest di Kiev, circa 33 771 ebrei. Il Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center è stato creato dal decreto del presidente ucraino Petro Poroshenko il 20 ottobre 2017. Con questo l’Ucraina proponeva un nuovo approccio alla conservazione della memoria storica di quei tragici eventi. “L’Ucraina è il quarto paese per numero che sono state annoverate tra coloro che furono “Giusti tra le nazioni”. Il parlamento ucraino ha recentemente adottato una legge per combattere e prevenire l’antisemitismo nel paese e per commemorare la Shoah. La memoria è l’unico modo per combattere l’antisemitismo – ha detto nel corso della conferenza il Presidente del parlamento ucraino, Ruslan Stefanchuk- Le atrocità sono avvenute spesso perché la gente è rimasta in silenzio a causa della paura, dell’indifferenza e dell’egoismo. Lo studio della Shoah oggi è di particolare importanza per il popolo ucraino.”

Una delegazione di circa cento ministri, parlamentari, senatori, ambasciatori e giornalisti di tutta Europa riuniti in Ucraina. Due giorni intensi di seminario volti ad analizzare l’emergenza dilagante del nuovo risveglio dell’antisemitismo. Un momento per riunirsi, confrontarsi e discutere, ma soprattutto per tentare di accogliere la sfida di combattere l’antisemitismo in atto in Europa. Non nascondersi, ma affrontare il passato con un rinnovato senso di pragmatismo, trovando strategie per fronteggiare l’odio antiebraico di oggi, in tutte le sue forme.

Babyn Yar: una vergognosa pagina della storia, per anni nascosta. Al termine del seminario la delegazione si è recata nel luogo dove furono trucidati milioni di innocenti per una visita al centro Babyn Yar seguita da una cerimonia.  Il memoriale, in seguito a moltissimi sforzi per commemorare le sue vittime, ha trovato la sua ubicazione, cinque anni fa nello stesso luogo dove avvenne la tragedia.

Ad intervenire, nel corso della serata, anche il Presidente del consiglio del Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center Natan Sharansky. Sharansky, nel suo videomessaggio, ha sottolineato come le autorità sovietiche abbiano tentato insabbiare l’accaduto cancellando ogni ricordo del massacro avvenuto in quel burrone. “Una commemorazione importante non solo per le vittime e per onorare la loro memoria- ha aggiunto Sharansky -ma anche per garantire che le lezioni della storia vengano apprese e ricordate nell’era in cui viviamo oggi”.

“Sono nato pochi anni dopo la Shoah, sono cresciuto in Ucraina tra i campi di sterminio, eppure non ne sapevamo nulla – spiega al pubblico Sharansky – Ecco perché oggi è così importante che il Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, che ho l’onore di presiedere, stia facendo grandi sforzi per trasformare questa “grande tomba della Shoah” in un grande museo con il suo centro di ricerca e studio.  Stiamo facendo tutto questo collaborando strettamente con il governo ucraino.”

Round Table of Jewish Lawyers Commences

We are pleased to commence the Round Table of Jewish Lawyers, where we will discuss important issues.

It has become increasingly apparent to our communities that we have been left to navigate these challenges largely on our own. Despite the adoption of numerous IHRA definitions and plans to combat antisemitism, there has been minimal progress in terms of prosecutions or arrests. As one community leader succinctly stated, these efforts seem futile.

While our Association possesses a range of skills, we recognise the unique and invaluable expertise that Jewish lawyers bring. With their deep understanding of legal systems within their respective countries, they can offer practical suggestions within existing frameworks to strengthen these plans and definitions.


The European Jewish Association is a prominent and influential organisation dedicated to representing, advocating for, and fostering the interests of the Jewish community across Europe. Founded on unity, tolerance, and inclusivity principles, the EJA bridges diverse Jewish communities and European societies.

#BringThemHomeNow #NeverAgainIsNow #NotOnMyWatch

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